Practical Life in Zagreb


Bank services in Zagreb


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Currency

Croatian currency is the kuna, which is the Croatian word for "marten." The marten is a mammal whose fur was of monetary value and used as currency in the region during the Middle Ages. "Kn" is the abbreviation for kuna in Croatia. The international abbreviation is "HRK."

One kuna is subdivided into 100 lipa. "Lipa" is the Croatian word for "linden tree."

ATM and Credit Cards

ATMs are plentiful, particularly in the city center. Called "bankomat," most ATMs accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Cirrus, Plus and Maestro cards. Cash withdrawals from some ATMs may be accompanied by a fee. Check with your bank for details.

Exchange

Often the most convenient way to obtain foreign currency is to withdraw cash from an ATM. This method can also yield the best exchange rates.

However, currency exchange offices, called "mjenjacnica" are abundant in the center and easy to spot, thanks to their bright yellow signs. Most Croatians prefer to exchange money at exchange offices. The rates are good and usually commission isn't charged at city center locations, but be sure to double check before you trade in your foreign currency.

You may also exchange money at hotels, banks, and at airport exchange offices, though these locations are more apt to charge commission.

Electronic Transfers

Though it depends on your bank, international wire or electronic transfers generally carry a fee that can be quite steep. There may also be a currency exchange fee. However, it's possible to open a foreign currency account in addition to your kuna account, which may help you to avoid some fees.

To complete a transfer, you will need to gather some information about the receiving institution.

Necessary Information:

  • Complete name of the bank
  • Complete address of the bank
  • SWIFT number (this is an internationally used system of numbers that identifies each bank)
  • Name on the account
  • Account number that the funds should be deposited into (IBAN for European transfers)

Open an Account

Most major banks in Croatia allow foreign nationals to set up non-resident accounts. Though basic services will be comparable from bank to bank, each offers slightly different account options and charges different fees for services. Do a little research, ask friends about their banking preferences, and perhaps consult with representatives at the banks you are interested in to help you decide.

It's not necessarily difficult to set-up an account, but you do need to bring documentation with you. In addition to your passport, you may be asked to supply your OIB (personal identification number) and proof of address, though any visa paperwork you have should supply this information.

Banks usually issue a debit card to each new account holder. A debit card allows you to use ATMs to withdraw money and make payments that are directly debited from your account. The card will likely be sent to your address, and a pin code necessary to complete transactions will be mailed to you a few days later.

Most banks offer online banking that allows you to check your balance, transfer money, and make payments online.

Banks

Open hours vary from branch to branch, but most banks are open during regular business hours. Some stay open until 7:00 p.m. They typically have abbreviated hours on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays.


Update 25/05/2013


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